Light fragrance. Has notes of citrus, spices, and sandalwood. Easy to use. Long-lasting scent.
Smell may be too faint for some.
Fresh, strong fragrance. Has notes of woodsy and floral scents. Easy to use. Portable.
Smell does not linger very long.
Has an airy, fruity fragrance with floral and musk undertones. Light, subtle smell. Easy to use.
Some considered the cologne to be too pricey for its size.
Crisp, fresh fragrance. Has notes of green apple, floral, and woodsy scents.
Cologne gets used up quickly.
Floral fragrance with fruity and woodsy notes. Soft, long-lasting fragrance. Easy to use.
Cologne may smell too sweet for some.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Although summer doesn’t have an official scent, some fragrances are more suitable than others to wear when the weather turns warm. When you think of summertime, hot days, bright sun, and beach trips come to mind. That’s why colognes with scents that can be described as light, crisp, and fresh go perfectly with the season.
When shopping for summer fragrances, it’s a good idea to understand the different fragrance options, such as perfumes and eau de toilettes, as well as how colognes fit into the various categories. Assessing the notes that give colognes their appealing scents can help you pick one that you’ll love to wear on bright, sunny days. Other features such as brand choice, applicators, and bottle contents are factors to think about as you explore available products.
Although there’s a lot of information to consider to ensure you choose a summer-worthy cologne, our buying guide and favorite summer colognes can point you in the right direction when it comes to selecting your signature summertime scent.
In the past, cologne was associated with light, inexpensive scents that tended to be watered down compared to other products in the fragrance class. Over time, cologne has become a common term that’s used to describe all types of fragrances. It’s basically a catch-all name that refers to different fragrances, much like the term perfume. However, there are distinct differences among the three main types of fragrances.
Parfums are the most concentrated fragrances and linger longer than other varieties. They’re also the most expensive. Eau de parfums aren’t quite as concentrated but provide long wear. Eau de toilette scents are affordable but aren’t as concentrated as other fragrances. They’re also light and great for summer, but they typically fade within several hours of application.
Summer colognes have several features in common that make them good choices for warm weather wear.
Many colognes get their staying power from various chemicals, but not everyone wants to apply these additives on their bodies. For these consumers, natural colognes are worth considering. They’re formulated with ingredients like plant-based essential oils that give them their alluring scents. The downside of natural colognes is that they tend to fade within a few hours of application. However, this payoff is worth it for those who prefer natural products.
While you can wear cologne with any notes in the summer, some notes just pair better with the warm temperatures and summer activities. Floral, fruit, citrus, and light spices such as rosemary are some of the best notes for summertime fragrances. Some summer colognes focus on notes from one of these categories, while others feature a combination of fruity, flowery, citrus, and spicy aromas.
Summer colognes are available from a broad selection of brands. These include names you’d find at your local retail or drugstore, as well as luxury designer brands.
Just like other types of fragrances, cologne comes in bottles in a range of sizes. Two of the most common sizes are 3.4 and 4.2 ounces. However, you’ll also find travel-friendly bottles that contain less than an ounce and large bottles that hold five ounces or more.
The most common applicator found on cologne bottles is a spray pump. They make it easy to use to apply the perfect amount of cologne exactly where you want it. Less common are open tops that are designed to splash on the cologne by hand or apply it with a dabber.
If you plan to transfer some cologne from the bottle into a travel-sized container, the applicator determines if this is possible. Spray pumps that unscrew from the bottle and open tops are the types of applicators to look for in order to pour some of the cologne into a travel-friendly bottle.
Not only is cologne with floral notes perfect for summer, their fresh scents are just as suitable for springtime.
When you shop for a cologne that you’ll reach for time and time again in the summertime, don’t forget to check out a few accessories to go with it.
In addition to making your skin fresh and clean, a body wash for women prepares it for spritzing or dabbing on your favorite fragrance. Brands with subtle scents complement the notes of your cologne.
Everyone needs a quality sunscreen to protect their skin from the sun's UV rays that can cause damage and may even lead to skin cancer. For reliable protection, opt for one by a trusted brand with an SPF of 30 or higher.
If you’ll be jetting off for vacation this summer, don’t forget TSA-approved travel bottles to stash your cologne and other beauty essentials for the flight.
Beautifully scented skin is even better when it’s soft. Applying a body lotion after showering keeps skin moisturized for a subtle texture.
Summer colognes for women are available in a wide range of prices. The cost depends on factors such as whether or not the cologne is made by a designer or drugstore brand. Bottle size also affects price, but some luxury colognes can be pricey for just an ounce or two.
If you want a summer cologne that won’t break a limited budget, options that cost $15 or less are available. Some are made by drugstore or little-known brands. Some travel-sized colognes also fall into this price tier.
Middle-of-the-road colognes for summer cost between $16 and $49. There are many recognizable brands and even some high-end fragrances in this range.
Summer colognes by designer brands fall into the price range of $50 and up. The good news is that these colognes typically wear longer than those that fall on the lower end of the price spectrum.
A. Cologne wears longest when applied to the body’s pulse points. They can be found on the wrists, behind the ears, and behind the knees and elbows.
A. There’s no specific answer to this question, as you can reapply your cologne whenever you notice that the scent has faded. Typically, applying a few additional spitzes or drops in the afternoon will do.
A. You can certainly apply a bit of cologne when heading out to your next pool party, but keep in mind that the scent will fade after extended exposure to water. You may want to stash your cologne in your pool bag and reapply after you’re done swimming or splashing in the water.
A. Traditionally, the term cologne has been used to describe men’s fragrances. However, today the term is used interchangeably for colognes that are formulated for men and women. What’s more, the term is not gender-specific and is used when referring to scents for everyone.
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